Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Orlando's 4-37 Road Record Historically Examined


The 2013-2014 Orlando Magic won't have the worst record in the NBA this season, but they will have the worst road record. Orlando's defeat in Chicago Monday night puts the Magic road win-loss record at 4-37. Even Milwaukee has managed 5 victories on the road. It's the worst away record in Magic franchise history. Worse than the 8-33 road record in Jacque Vaughn's debut season last year. Worse than the 6-35 away record the inaugural '89-'90 Magic had that won eighteen total games. 

The Elias Sports Bureau hasn't reached back to me on how historically bad 4 road wins is in an 82-game season, so I decided to research it myself. I'm omitting Lockout seasons such as the likes of the '99 Clippers, the '99 Vancouver Grizzlies (Brian Hill's team only won 1 road game of 25), and the 2012 Charlotte Bobcats. 

Below are NBA teams that played 82 games and did as bad or worse than this season's Magic team on the road. Thanks to Basketball Reference and their splits logs. Notice I didn't go past 35-win teams. Why? Well. because if there are teams who somehow won more than thirty-five games while notching 4 victories or fewer in a season, they should have their own Hall of Fame wing. 


1. 1990-1991 Sacramento Kings (25-57; 1-40 away)
2. 1972-1973 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73; 2 road wins; 2 neutral arena wins)*
3. 1997-1998 Denver Nuggets (11-71; 2-39 on the road)
4. 1986-1987 Los Angeles Clippers (12-70; 3-38 away)
5. 1988-1989 Miami Heat (15-67; 3-38 away)
6. 1979-1980 Detroit Pistons (16-66; 3-38 away) - Dick Vitale went 4-8, got fired, and Richie Adubato went 12-58 the rest of the way.
7. 1987-1988 Los Angeles Clippers (17-65; 3-38 away)
8. 2002-2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (17-65; 3-38 away)
9. 1987-1988 New Jersey Nets (19-63; 3-38 away)
10. 1990-1991 Denver Nuggets (20-62; 3-38 away)
11. 1988-1989 San Antonio Spurs (21-61; 3-38 away)
12. 2010-2011 Washington Wizards (23-59; 3-38 away)
13. 1974-1975 New Orleans Jazz (23-59; 3-38 away)
14. 2002-2003 Chicago Bulls (30-52; 3-38 away)
15. 1992-1993 Dallas Mavericks (11-71; 4-37 away) - Richie Adubato was 2-27 as Head Coach before being fired on 01/13/93 that included a very sad "I feel very old today" quote.
16. 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets (12-70; 4-37 away)
17. 2004-2005 Atlanta Hawks (13-69; 4-37 away)
18. 1996-1997 Boston Celtics (15-67; 4-37 away)
19. 1970-1971 Cleveland Cavaliers (15-67; 2-37 away; 2-0 in neutral games)^
20. 1980-1981 Dallas Mavericks (15-67; 4-37 away)
21. 1989-1990 New Jersey Nets (17-65; 4-37 away)
22. 2002-2003 Denver Nuggets (17-65; 4-37 away)
23. 1994-1995 Los Angeles Clippers (17-65; 4-37 away)
24. 1971-1972 Portland Trail Blazers (18-64; 4-35 away; 0-3 neutral)
25. 2004-2005 Charlotte Bobcats (18-64; 4-37 away)
26. 1987-1988 Golden State Warriors (20-62; 4-37 away)
27. 1988-1989 Los Angeles Clippers (21-61; 4-37 away)
28. 1978-1979 New Orleans Jazz (26-56; 4-37 away)

*One of those 76ers wins came in Pittsburgh, the other in San Antonio. Philly played 31 home games, 38 road games, and 13 games in designated 'neutral' venues that season.
^The 2 neutral venues were Rochester and Syracuse in New York. Both games were against the Buffalo Braves, so I'd consider those road games more than neutral.


A few thoughts. Orlando is thankfully not as uniquely horrible on the road as we all think. How in the hell did Chicago win 30 games in '02-'03, yet only 3 of them away from the United Center? The Kings had an over .500 record at home in '90-'91, but managed only ONE road win that season which is absurd. Going over that list, I must say that even now you've got to feel bad for Clippers fans as they're shown 4 times with that outrageous '86-'89 stretch of awfulness. 

Poor Richie Adubato has had some rough spells as a Head Coach. Makes you feel even better about his '97 Magic run and almost-upset of the Heat in that postseason.

A lot of bad teams have won 3 or 4 on the road, but at least the Magic didn't have the road-win gap that the '11 Wizards, '79 Jazz, '75 Jazz, '03 Bulls, or the '91 Kings had. Positives, Magic fans, positives. If Orlando wants a chance at sneaking into the playoffs next season, there needs to be a vast team improvement away from Amway Center. 

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